News & Events

Faculty Seminar | Coining Legitimacy: Law and Technology in India


Allen & Overy Conference Room, NLSIU


Wednesday, November 23, 2022, 4:00 pm

The next faculty seminar will feature a talk by Dr. Sukhalata Sen on “Coining Legitimacy: Law and Technology in India”. Dr. Mrinal Satish will be the moderator.

 Abstract of the paper

This paper examines the interface of law, technology and social lives of people in Calcutta in India. Set in the nineteenth century, it complicates transferring technologies of minting money to a distant region.  As most technologies arrived as a finished product of a distant country, it explores how its assimilation into a newer society affected the expectation and actual usage of that technology. To understand this better, it uses counterfeiting of the Indian rupees to explore the problems of assimilation and the inversion of such technologies. It juxtaposes this with the political and cultural claims of these technologies for the East India Company. It tries to explore how law was used to negotiate between such political claims of the Company and its misuse/ appropriation in the Indian society. The setting up of ‘illegality at a time when the Company did not have the monopoly over making money drives this paper towards its ambitions of connecting other parts of empire and facilitating trade.